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Wednesday, March 22, 2017

a self-affirming goal, A Human Strategy. Matt Berry, aphorism 308


If I waddle somewhat toward a self-affirming goal, my desires and whims follow like a brood of ducklings. If I stop to gather them in, they scatter ... and I chase after.

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Monday, March 20, 2017

freedom, A Human Strategy, Matt Berry, aphorism 309


Too often “freedom” is another word for “ignorance.” It serves as a palliative for our shock at seeing the gears and levers behind our nature.

Sunday, March 19, 2017

The Moral Fanatic, aphorism 133, The Mechanics of Virtue, Matt Berry


The Moral Fanatic: Mustering up the courage to actualize one’s morality is often the beginning of immorality. In fact moral actualization is often that backdrop of Evil without which there might have been no display of Good. Solitary actualization usually offends the public, and the moral display of removing this offense often succeeds by default ... and Good then triumphs over Evil.

Saturday, March 18, 2017

a genuine method for happiness, A Human Strategy, Matt Berry, aphorism 310


One finds a genuine method for happiness but saddens all others by trying to convert them to the same. Perhaps happiness is in the private rebellion of finding ... just as sadness would lie in having to be granted permission to search.

Monday, March 13, 2017

the exalted human experience, aphorism 134, The Mechanics of Virtue, Matt Berry


Historical honesty and the exalted human experience are opposed.  When Plutarch reports, and is in turn carried higher by Amyot, and yet higher by North, and then reaches its final orbit through Shakespeare ... the historian objects ... in vain.  When the town charlatan passes off despicable behavior as being “ordained by God,” he can within a very few generations not only surpass history within his own culture, but among the complacent at large as well.  Out of this dung, hidden well beneath the surface, the lush but thorny bush yields berries that can only be picked with the most delicate fingers and every honest attack leaves the assailant bloodied.

Sunday, March 12, 2017

The proud mind, aphorism 134, A Human Strategy, Matt Berry


The proud mind denies the existence of the stimulus in an argument, and so does not see or feel the force of the necessary response, creating the illusion that it is not the perceiver but the world that is twisted.

Saturday, March 11, 2017

an inherited error, The Mechanics of Virtue, Matt Berry, aphorism 135


There might be a limit to the price a society is willing to pay in order for an inherited error to persist.  And it might be embarrassing to debate whether that limit is a bargain or a great expense.  Society of course regards even the utmost sacrifice as only a “small price to pay” for the preservation of accepted notions of moral decency.  Herd behavior appears to place a greater value on preserving cultural inertia than upon holding to the value it claims for “Truth.”

Friday, March 10, 2017

any claim to honesty, aphorism 135, A Human Strategy, Matt Berry

The Nature of this Book and Some Problems


This is not a book which proceeds from point A to point B.  I am more concerned with the natural phenomenon of “spontaneity.”  I need to stress the words “natural phenomenon.”  The words “transcendence” and “spontaneity” are too frequently excuses for flights away from reality ... so I like to temper such words with the acknowledgment that spontaneity and transcendence are governed by natural laws and that they are limited to the private human experience; they are not “supernatural events” nor dependent upon external “authorities.”  I am not afraid to disinfect the misunderstanding by sponging the issue with the behaviorist’s word-set ... while preserving the exalted sensation as a goal.  I am also not afraid of my life, my direct experience with my small reality being of more importance and of greater validity than all of the greatest literature combined.  I need not appeal to another “thinker” before making the attempt to live.  I live.  That is enough.

I also make it a habit to record my spontaneous moments, however inconsistent and unrelated one discovery might be from another.  Through categorization, these particular experiences grow back towards a “whole.”  It is a method of discovering the conclusion, not one of inventing a “conclusion” first and then working toward that invention.  In short, I establish the means and let the ends appear when they will ... as they will.

Although I do not necessarily deal with the topic of spontaneity, it is still my attempt, outside of the writing experience, to create the set of circumstances which brings about the moment of spontaneity as often as possible ... and simultaneously to be in a position to record the event ... as it occurs.  Although this record is an end, it is also an attempt to look over my shoulder at those very means which brought about this end.  This has proven to be a much more difficult task than I at first imagined it would be.  It does feel a lot like magic ... or a divine influence.
However I maintain a deep faith in material reality.  I am confident that every cog and wheel of the “mind” can be uncovered.  Personal science ... a self-behaviorism, if you will, and that strong, unjustified respect for the sensation of dignity are our first steps toward “becoming” ... toward increased self-worth ... living.

Now perhaps I am ready to defend my unwillingness to write a book which proceeds from point A to point B.  Imagine the “intentional” act of running from point A to point B.  I am an athlete, let’s say; I have a line behind which I stand, and I can see another line in front of me exactly one hundred meters away.  The gun goes off.  I stay in my lane and race to the finish.  I win or I lose.  If I am the average person, then I am happy or sad as a consequence of whether I have won or lost.  This book is not of that nature.

The runner from point A to point B has also, simultaneously, arrived at point C — from the point of view of becoming.  His muscles have grown stronger; his coordination has improved; his reflexes have quickened.  Every race completed improves his ability to reach point B with greater and greater proficiency.  This improvement ... this point C is what this book is about, and it is dependent upon a single natural law to which we are so accustomed that we can no longer see: repetition.  Consider this book then, not as the race from point A to point B, but as a thousand races, run solely with the intent of tracing the tendency toward point C ... or, to use another word-set, toward a genuine spirituality.
I will admit to several other problems with this book, chiefly, that of categorization.  The book is in continual flux.  A thought arrives to contradict a previous thought.  Or, a previously categorized thought is suddenly re-categorized under a very different heading.  Reading the book this month and reading the updated version next month show two different books ... two different authors.  Yet, in my own defense, what is regarded as a failure in the book can be a consequence of the author’s becoming ... an advance ... and therefore, a personal success.

If I am to have any claim to honesty, I cannot easily discard behaviorism ... nor the testimony of my five senses, nor the store of experience in the memory.  I cannot use fear, social necessity, or ignorance as “proofs” of a God or of another world.

Within this sobering realism, my effort is to redeem my human experience, and, to say it again, not to try to escape from it by proposing a reality “beyond” this one.  I am fully aware that the word “redeem” implies that I begin from a sense of worthlessness.  In the past, I have been justly accused of not being “positive enough.”  I can only say in a feeble attempt at a defense that the positive ... cheerful outlook on this life is my goal.  However, if today’s attempt proves to be impossible, am I then to go back to sleep or to tell lies?  In a stronger defense of my outlook on life, I will say that I have perhaps found some hints of a genuine joy in this life: the aforesaid moments of growth ... the exhilaration of those moments ... and also the act of recording those moments as they occur.  There are times when I feel I have achieved a solid victory or two in this regard.  Let the reader be the judge.

Another problem is that I should perhaps have waited until the book was “finished” — when I have found a “more positive” outlook and when my observations have found their “final place” within the book’s organic development.  Yet if the reader fully understands the process from which I begin, then that reader will also understand that the book will never be finished until I have passed on ... or been incapacitated by misfortune.  I need to grow ... that remains of greater importance than stopping in an attempt to make a “final statement.”  And so, as premature as it is, with this need not to finish, that is to say, to continue growing ... and also to exhibit that process of growing, through that very process, I present the next stage of my “book.”

Thursday, March 9, 2017

passionate observers, The Mechanics of Virtue, Matt Berry, aphorism 136


There is no such thing as a public morality which can withstand private application.  Nor a public moral victory which is not dampened by private honesty.  The glory burns only upon a stage constructed by and for passionate observers.  In any actualization independent of public display, it destroys the agent's emotional health and breaks with the public's own notion of decent behavior.

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

a fool or a liar, aphorism 136, A Human Strategy, Matt Berry


One day I woke up and found that everyone I had ever met was either a fool or a liar. Another day, much later, I found that this had been my first real step toward myself.

Sunday, March 5, 2017

A Human Strategy, Matt Berry, aphorism 309


Too often “freedom” is another word for “ignorance.” It serves as a palliative for our shock at seeing the gears and levers behind our nature.

Friday, March 3, 2017

a genuine method, A Human Strategy, Matt Berry, aphorism 310


One finds a genuine method for happiness but saddens all others by trying to convert them to the same. Perhaps happiness is in the private rebellion of finding ... just as sadness would lie in having to be granted permission to search.

Wednesday, March 1, 2017